Oak HC/FT’s Brown, Redpoint’s Kadavy and Northzone’s Schultz are among those investing in women led companies this week

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing May 10, 2021

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Oak HC/FT’s Brown invests in a portfolio company of Kaiser Permanente’s Rockett and Optum Ventures’ Veroneau

Oak HC/FT’s Nancy Brown invests in a provider of opioid addiction treatment whose CEO is Colleen Nicewicz and which is a portfolio company of Kaiser Permanente VenturesLiz Rockett and Optum VenturesLaura Veroneau. Oak HC/FT led Groups Recover Together’s $60 million Series C round which, in addition to KPV and Optum, includes fellow existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Transformation Capital and RRE Ventures.

Based in Burlington, Mass., Groups Recover will use the capital to expand its treatment model from locations in 12 states to at least 17 states by the end of the year. It will also roll out an enhanced digital experience that will complement its brick-and-mortar clinics. The company is trying to meet an important need, especially since there were 87,000 fatal overdoses from opioids during the past year. Groups boats a 74 percent member retention rate after six months. It currently treats more than 8,000 members.

In a statement, Nancy said that Groups “has been incredibly innovative when it comes to supporting their members during this time of increased need, impressively adapting to challenging circumstances. Further, their strong commitment to value-based care has allowed Groups to drive better outcomes for traditionally underserved populations where opioid use disorder prevalence is highest.”

In conjunction with the financing, Nancy joined Groups board. She is also on the boards of Axial Healthcare, Cricket Health, Firefly Health, Maven and Unite US. Oak HC/FT earlier this year closed its fourth fund at $1.4 billion and has $3.3 billion under management.

Chevron Technology Ventures takes part in Mainspring Energy’s $95M Series D

Chevron Technology Ventures, whose president is Barbara J. Burger, helps bring a financial charge to an onsite power generation provider founded and led by Shannon Miller. CTV, the venture arm of Chevron Corp., took part in Mainspring Energy’s $95 million Series D round that also included Devonshire Investors, Princeville Capital, 40 North Ventures and existing investors Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, ClearSky, AEP, KCK and Equinor. Mainspring now has raised $228 million.

Based in Menlo Park, Mainspring has created a linear generator that delivers onsite, dispatchable, fuel-flexible power at low cost. The new capital will help the Mainspring accelerate delivery of its new product to a broad range of commercial, industrial, microgrid and utility customers.

CTV earlier this year launched its second fund of $300 million to invest in low-carbon technology startups.

Riverside’s Phing Naaman, Hayes and Strom invest in Radiant Plumbing and Air Conditioning

The Riverside Company’s Meranee Phing Naaman, Anne Hayes and Cheryl Strom pour capital into a plumbing and air conditioning company owned and operated by Sarah Casebier and her husband, Brad. Terms of Riverside’s investment in Radiant Plumbing and Air Conditioning were not disclosed.

Radiant provides maintenance plumbing, sewer and HVAC services to nearly 12,000 residential customers annually in the Austin, Texas metropolitan area. Sarah and Brad have owned the company since 1999.

In a statement, Meranee said that Riverside plans to “assist with organic growth in Austin as well as inorganic growth in plumbing and HVAC services in Texas and beyond. This could also include the addition of complementary services, like electrical.” Anne helped secure funding for the deal, while Cheryl sourced the deal.

Meranee and Anne were recently promoted to senior partners on Riverside’s Capital Appreciation Fund. The Riverside Capital Appreciation Fund is the firm’s North American fund focused on control buyouts of companies with between $10 million and $35 million EBITDA. Cheryl, an origination principal, has recently sourced add-on deals for the firm’s Logically and fire and life safety platforms and for portfolio company Omnigo Software.

Canvas Ventures’ Lynn re-invests in Tilenius’ Vida Health

Canvas Ventures Managing Director Rebecca Lynn has once again re-invested in Vida Health, the digital health company co-founded and led by Stephanie Tilenius. Canvas took part in Vida’s $110 million Series D round that included General Atlantic, Centene, AXA Venture Partners, Ardea Partners and such other returning investors as Ally Bridge Group, AME Cloud Ventures, GuideWell, NGP Capital, Workday Ventures and Aspect Ventures, which was co-founded by Jennifer Fonstad and Theresia Gouw. The new round comes roughly a year after Vida closed a $25 million round.

Based in San Francisco, Vida has developed a personalized virtual care platform for physical and behavioral health. The company seeks to treat multiple conditions by utilizing digital therapeutic interventions and sustainable behavioral change to address the root of the problem for chronic disease. Since the beginning of 2020, Vida has more than tripled its revenue. Its clients include Boeing, Visa, Cisco, eBay, Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. Vida pairs individuals with a human health coach, who is an expert in behavior change and knowledgeable in the area of need, whether it’s nutrition, weight loss, fitness, diabetes, stress management or other conditions.

Stephanie founded the company with Dr. Connie Chen, who left in 2017. Stephanie, a past speaker at the Women’s Private Equity Summit, was previously an entrepreneur in residence at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. She also held executive roles at Google, eBay and PayPal and was a founder of PlanetRx.

Vida has now raised $188 million. Rebecca has served on Vida’s board since leading Canvas into its Series B round, which was completed in late 2016.

Redpoint’s Kadavy invests in an e-commerce platform for local retailers founded by Obvious Ventures’ Underwood

Redpoint VenturesAnnie Kadavy brings her firm into Nearby, an e-commerce platform for small, local retailers founded by Obvious VenturesApril Underwood, in a round that also included such existing investors as Obvious; Tina Sharkey; Cowboy Ventures, which was founded by Aileen Lee; Moxxie Ventures, which is led by Katie Jacobs Stanton; and GV, which was led into the company by Jessica Verrilli. Redpoint led Nearby’s $21 million Series A round that also included Sound Ventures. The company’s prior investors include Scribble Ventures, which Elizabeth Weil formed with her husband, Kevin Weil, and Annelies Gamble.

Launched late last year, Nearby is a digital marketplace that connects people with local makers, merchants and creators. The platform ensures that local customers get products from local merchants and that they arrive quickly.

April, who joined Obvious last year as a venture partner, was previously chief product officer at Slack and an early team member at Twitter. April is also a part of #Angels, which was formed by current and former Twitter executives. The group includes Katie, Jessica, and Jana Messerschmidt, who is now a partner with Lightspeed Venture Partners.

In a blog post, Annie said that “problems of communication, collaboration and local communities are quite literally (April’s) specialty” and that she “is particularly dogged in her pursuit of leveling the playing field for small businesses.” Nearby, she wrote, “couldn’t be arriving at a better time. This impulse to shop small – like so many other changes the pandemic necessitated – is here to stay.”

Annie also recently led Redpoint into Logixboard, which has developed a customer experience platform for freight forwarders. A managing director with Redpoint, Annie earlier this year saw portfolio company Ike acquired by Nuro. Her portfolio also includes Silk + Sonder, a women’s self-care company founded and led by Meha Agrawal; Bravado, Inc., which is focused on elevating the profession of sales by building trust, community and diversity; Tundra, a wholesale marketplace co-founded by husband-and-wife Arnold and Katie Engel; Tend, a dental wellness company; and Guild Education, whose co-founder and CEO is Rachel Carlson. Also in December, a company that Annie backed while at a general partner at CRV, DoorDash, went public.

Redpoint manages $5.8 billion.

Amplifyher takes part in Expressable’s $4.5M round

Amplifyher Ventures, which is led by Tricia Black and Meghan Cross, seeds a technology-enabled speech therapy company co-founded by Leanne Sherred. Amplifyher took part in Expressable’s $4.5 million round that also included Lerer Hippeau and NextView Ventures.

Based in Austin, Texas, Expressable has pioneered a technology-enabled care model that removes the financial and geographic barriers that have traditionally limited access, and empowers parents with education and support to integrate speech therapy techniques into their childs daily life. Approximately 5 million children in the United States have a speech or language disorder, and nearly half go untreated. The company’s care model matches families with an experienced teletherapist specialized in their area of need, enables secure client-therapist texting and provides over 500 home-based learning modules that help parents reinforce skill-building exercises throughout the week.

Leanne is a speech-language pathologist who co-founded the company with Nicholas Barbara and Spencer Magloff in 2019. Expressable will use the newly raised funds to expand its clinical provider network, partner with commercial and Medicaid plans to reach more families and accelerate investment of its parent-focused education platform.

Amplifyher, backs women-led companies. Earlier this year, it seeded Realworld, which was founded by Genevieve Ryan Bellaire and aims to simplify adulthood.

Stenbeck’s Max Ventures re-invests in Vori Health

Max Ventures, which is co-founded by Sophie Stenbeck, re-invests in a provider of musculoskeletal care that was co-founded by Dr. Mary O’Connor. Max took part in Vori Health’s $45 million Series A round that was led by NEA and included another prior investor, AlleyCorp.

Musculoskeletal pain and injury is the top cause of global disability, affecting 54 percent of the U.S. population and is one of the most expensive sectors in health care. Mary established Vori to combat these inequities by delivering a truly elevated, human-centered, patient care experience through technology, content, community and multidisciplinary care teams. The organization offers full service physical medicine and rehabilitation care, physical therapy, prescriptions, imaging and lab ordering, health coaching, nutritional guidance, community support and premium instructional content. With the funding, Vori will focus on technology, product, services and data buildout, along with accelerated clinical and support-team growth.

Northzone’s Schultz drives her firm into Kornehed’s Einride

Northzone General Partner Jessica Schultz drives her firm into Einride, the autonomous, all-electric transport provider co-founded by Linnéa Kornehed in a round that sees Plum Alley’s Avantika Daing steer her firm back into the Swedish company. Einride raised $110 million in Series B funding from Northzone, Temasek, Soros Fund Management, Maersk Growth and Build Capital and such existing investors as Plum Alley, Norrsken VC, Ericsson and NordicNinja VC.

Einride will use the capital to scale up deployments with its customer base in Europe and the United States. Its customers include Coca-Cola, Oatly, Lidl and Electrolux. Linnéa founded Einride in 2016 with Robert Falk and Filip Lilja.

In a statement, Jessica said, “the road freight market is at an inflection point, with consumer demand and regulation pushing shippers to look for sustainable alternatives. Einride has emerged as the category leader, allowing global shippers to shift to electric and autonomous freight options. We’ve been blown away by the quality of the Einride team and are proud to support their journey towards the future of freight.” Jessica’s portfolio includes Red Points, NA-KD, Matsmart, Klarna, Outfittery and Fyndiq.

Also in a statement, Avantika said, “the rapid growth of Einride has energized the entire industry.” The company, she said, “has spearheaded innovation in the autonomous and electric freight transportation industry and the growth in business application is a steady sign that the future of freight has begun.”

Avantika, who is a managing director and partner, led Plum Alley into Einride’s $25 million Series A round in the fall of 2019. Plum Alley was founded by Andrea Turner Moffitt and Deborah Jackson and invests in STEM-related companies founded by gender-diverse teams.

Rosen’s Just Women’s Sports raises $3.5M in seed funding

A media platform for women’s sports founded by Haley Rosen raises funds from a group that includes such women athletes as Elena Delle Donne, Hilary Knight, Sam Mewis, Kelley O’Hara and Arike Ogunbowale. Just Women’s Sports raised $3.5 million in seed funding led by Will Ventures with participation from the roster of women’s sports superstars, as well as Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s Thirty Five Ventures, Drive by DraftKings, OVO Fund and Supernode Global.

Haley launched the Los Angeles-based company in 2020 to provide news and analysis of women’s sports through exclusive interviews, podcasts, videos and other media content, and has quickly grown a passionate audience of fans, followers and listeners. This funding will enable the company to expand its production of high-quality content featuring the biggest stars in women’s sports, as well as continue building out its executive team, production, and editorial staff.

MRL Ventures Fund’s Brennan invests in a biotech company founded upon the work of Akassoglou

MRL Ventures Fund’s Christine Brennan invests in a biotech company founded upon the work of Katerina Akassoglou. MRL, Sanofi Ventures and SV Health Investors led Therini Bio, Inc.’s $17 million extended seed round. Formerly known as MedaRed, Inc., the company announced that it had raised $6.5 million in 2019, a number that grew to $9.35 million in 2020. Investors in those earlier announcements included Dementia Discovery Fund and Dolby Family Ventures.

Based in South San Francisco, Calif., Therini is focused on discovering and developing new therapeutics targeting fibrin. Katerina is a senior investigator at Gladstone Institutes and professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. She and colleagues discovered that fibrin, a blood-clotting factor, is implicated in the toxic inflammation that damages neurons in neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Therini is using the capital to turn molecules discovered by Katerina into therapeutics that target fibrin for people with diseases that have significant unmet clinical needs. The initial focus is on dementia and other inflammatory conditions.

In conjunction with the financing, Christine joined Therini’s board. A partner at MRL, Christine last year joined the board of Tallac Therapeutics, Inc. after backing the Burlingame, Calif. company. Co-founded and led by Hong Wan, Tallac is seeking to use the power of innate and adaptive immunity to fight cancer. Christine is also on the board Entrada Therapeutics. Christine joined MRL in 2017 from Novartis Venture Fund. MRL Ventures is the venture arm of Merck & Co. 

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